“I get a little romantic about the old Empire State. Just looking at it makes me want to play some Frank Sinatra tunes and sway a little. I have a crush on a building. I’d been in there several times but never to work. I always knew there were offices in there but the face never penetrated, really. You don’t work in the Empire State Building. You propose in the Empire State Building. You sneak a flask up there and raise a toast to the whole city of New York.” – Maureen Johnson
What’s a trip to New York City without a photo of the iconic Empire State Building, as it soars high above midtown Manhattan? What really struck me was just how eye-catching it is. The sun reflects beautifully from the walls from nearly every angle I saw it from, which were numerous. In the image above I tried to incorporate much of the street and surrounding buildings, some quite modern and others hearkening back to earlier times.
This image was made mid-morning, and as I stated in earlier posts, the New York light is something unexpected, as it reflects from the skyscrapers into the streets below. I was really expecting street level to be darker, but there is a constant soft glow everywhere I looked.
Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm 1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400
A challenging composition. Part of the ‘trick’ to capturing the motion of water is to create a time exposure based on the speed of the water and the light available. I tend to do most of these earlier in the day, or late afternoon, when the sun is soft and indirect.
Last week I found myself, mid-day, looking at these wonderful scenes of water rushing past icy shores and trying to figure out how to take this home with me in photos. The challenge is being able to leave the shutter open long enough to create the nice motion blur without overexposing the snow and ice and losing all that texture. The additional challenge on this day was that I did not have a tripod with me and had to shoot hand-held at 1/8 seconds to get the effect I wanted and I force myself to shoot at 250 ISO as much as possible, to retain the ability to shoot as if I was using film.
I seem to have accomplished that in this photo and a few others I posted earlier. The water moves smoothly across the frame, the dappled sunlight reflects off the surface and lights up some of the rocks below the surface, yet you can still make out the details of the icicles and layers of snow along the shore. It was a wonderful feeling when I got home and saw the results of this outing.
Another visit to High Falls, the outlet of Baptiste Lake and the beginning of the York River. I keep trying to imagine the waterfall as it would have been before the dam was built above it. That would have been a sight to behold. As I noted in an earlier post, the dam was built to protect the town of Bancroft, some 5 miles down river, from being flooded in the spring (it still happens, but to a lesser extent).
This was simply an opportunity to do a hand-held time exposure of the water spraying out between the logs. My maximum shake free exposure with my Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is 1/8 of a second. It still amazes me just how good the Vibration Reduction technology is these days. I closed the aperture a bit on this to keep everything in focus.
I liked the way the spillway naturally framed the image, the texture and colour of the wood, and how the spray stood out against the dark background. I may have to try this as a black and white at some time as well. There is something calming in images with soft flowing water that I really enjoy in this busy world.
Nikon D300 Tamron 70-200mm @ 90 mm 1/10 sec @ f/14, ISO 250
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